4 Tips For Buying A Used Forklift Around the Dallas Area
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with purchasing a used forklift – if you do it correctly. Don’t be
a sucker and fall prey to dealers looking for fast money. Instead, do your homework so you’re
prepared to buy the best used forklift for your company.
Let’s be honest: this is the number one factor in why someone would buy a used forklift. Like
any product, new models are more efficient, powerful, etc. However, used forklifts can provide a
valuable resource to your company – if it’s the right price.
Before going to a dealer or auction, do some research. Understand the type of forklift you need
and compare some prices. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. The more knowledge you have coming
into a potential deal, the better off you’ll be when it comes to purchasing that perfect used
The following three topics can greatly impact the cost.
Yes, you want to buy a used forklift. But how used is it? Be sure to see how many hours it has
been used. While proper maintenance and service can extend the life of a forklift, they still do
have a life expectancy. No sense in buying a piece of equipment that is on its last legs.
The first thing to check is the frame because every other forklift part is reliant on a sturdy frame.
Does it show physical damage? What about rust? New brakes, tires, and forks don’t mean
anything if the frame is faulty.
Speaking of wheels and tires, be sure to inspect them. Do you need pneumatic tires or cushion
tires? How’s the tread on them? If you have to purchase new tires within a month of buying the
used forklift, you may not have received a great deal after all.
The same goes for forklift attachments and extensions. The reason you’re purchasing a lift truck
is to, well, lift stuff! Check for cracks in forks, dents, bends and more. If the attachments can’t
perform up to standard, that’s more money you’ll have to spend in the near future.
Whatever you do, DO NOT purchase a used forklift without first inspecting the brakes, steering
and engine. These three are some of the most costly fixes. In fact, if you have to replace all
three, you could actually spend more money than the entire forklift! If you’re working with a
reputable dealer, they will gladly let you test drive the equipment.
Expected Forklift Usage
Buying a forklift is a business investment. Don’t expect a used forklift to last you 20 years – that’s
just not plausible.
The best way to approach this is to understand how long you need the forklift to last. Do some
research and see how long certain models last (with proper maintenance and service). If the
forklift you’re looking at has already exceeded that time frame, it’s probably not wise to think it
has five years left in it.
Also, keep in mind your daily lift truck usage. Understand that if you plan on using the
equipment for eight hours per day, the life expectancy is going to come up much quicker than if
you only used it sparingly throughout a day.
Finally, where do you need the forklift to operate? Indoors, outdoors, perhaps both? Will it be
traveling across rugged terrain or mostly flat surfaces? Will rain and other precipitation affect
your equipment? These factors can impact the life expectancy of a used forklift.
Forklift Financing and Warranty Options
Certified dealers (seems to be a common theme) usually offer financing and warranty options
for used forklifts. Financing is valuable, but be wary of high-interest rates and other
cash-grabs. Warranties are also important because dealers must stand behind the products
they’re offering. Again, used forklifts can be extremely valuable and last long with proper
maintenance and service. Many dealers keep track of regular service appointments and can tell
prospective buyers how often a piece of equipment has been serviced.